Ahhhh the things I have to do for this blog. Given that it is coming up to one of the traditionally most romantic times of the year, the lovely people at Hotel Chocolat have sent me a box of delicious chocolates from their Valentine’s Day range to review.
For me, Hotel Chocolat is my go to place for a real treat and something a bit special. Whether you want a box of chocolates, a few truffles (I love the salted caramel ones!), a slab of white, milk or dark chocolate or their delicious cocoa powder, they rarely disappoint.
When I started this blog, it was for a bit of fun and I never really thought about what opportunities it would bring. However, I have been approached about some exciting projects so watch this space!
You can imagine my delight when this beautiful box arrived last week…
And my increased delight when I opened it!
If your loved one has a sweet tooth, or you just fancy a really good box of chocs on the sofa with friends one night then you can’t go wrong with this one!
Inside the jewellery box are a selection of three charming chocolates for you to savour, and for review purposes I had to try one of each with a cup of tea yesterday afternoon!
Billionaire Shortbread: this was my favourite and was as tasty as it sounds. It had a lovely mix of textures with the crunchy biscuit topping and the silky smooth caramel and praline filling.
Dizzy Dark Praline: I’m not a huge fan of very dark chocolate (having inherited a very sweet tooth from my Mum!) but this provided a good contrast of the bitter chocolate and smooth hazelnut praline inside. It also started the debate on how to pronounce praline…is it ‘pray’ or ‘prar’?! ‘line’ or ‘leen’?! Answers on a postcard!
Berry Mousse: this looked lovely with its pink topping and was filled with a light strawberry and raspberry mousse, which actually tasted like the fruits as opposed to the sweet-shop version of strawberry.
Now this post probably sounds like I make a really big deal out of Valentine’s Day which isn’t strictly true. A card and a small gesture (flowers/ chocolates/ wine) is usually about as far as we go after 8 years together, but I do remember when it was a big deal to me and we would treat ourselves to dinner at a really fancy restaurant, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with either! Although I do draw the line at the giving or receiving of teddy bears, or any other cuddly toys, over the age of 20.
One development over the past few years which always seems to pop up again around V-Day is the meal deal. You know the one I mean; a starter, main, side dish, dessert and wine for a tenner. Never one to pass up a bargain, I love these! You can get a lovely bottle of fizz and some really good quality food for a fraction of the price, and as much as I love cooking, sometimes it is nice to have someone else do the hard work for you!
As a meal-deal veteran I have one key piece of advice for you:
- Get there early! I’m sure you have witnessed the crowds gathered in M&S when they have one of their ‘2 dine for £10’ offers on, and they can be mean! Go at a quieter time to avoid this. The second benefit for getting there early is to ensure you get there before all the good stuff goes…who wants a paella with a side of new potatoes?!
Whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day, enjoy…and if in doubt then a handmade card and a mix tape will always work